9 Nov 2011

Fish farming could treble - industry plan

3:29 pm on 9 November 2011

A three-fold increase in fish farming is on the agenda at a national conference on aquaculture in Nelson.

Aquaculture New Zealand has a plan to boost the industry's value over the next 14 years from $380 million a year to $1 billion a year.

Chairman Peter Vitasovich says legislation that came into effect last month will help the industry achieve that growth.

There are also hopes of extending fish farming from mussels, oysters and salmon to include species such as hapuka and kingfish.

Fonterra's former chief executive Andrew Ferrier told the conference Fonterra's experience in feeding people in scores of countries could be copied by the aquaculture industry.

King Salmon proposal

On Tuesday Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson announced a proposal to establish eight new salmon farming sites in the Marlborough Sounds is to be referred to an independent Board of Inquiry.

New Zealand King Salmon plans to more than double its operations in the Sounds.

It says the amount of space involved would be about 10 surface hectares out of a total of 150,000 surface hectares in the Sounds.